A FOOL AND HIS RIVER
Acts 2:12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
The move of the Spirit can be quite interesting. Jesus said it was like the wind. You don’t know when, how, or where, but suddenly it begins to blow. I’ll never forget the funny incident that happened in 1994 with one of my pastor friends (he will remain anonymous). A bunch of us from several churches in New Orleans were at revival meetings in Dallas, Texas. There was an altar call given for all the ministers from Louisiana to come to the front. That’s when the floodgates broke. Many of the ministers, myself included, were powerfully touched by God that day. At least just about everybody got hit, one of the pastors was in the men’s room when the dam broke. This poor brother had huge questions about the outpouring for years. Sometimes timing can be everything. Jonathan Edwards spoke about people’s questions and unwillingness to receive the outpourings because of the sometimes strange occurrence that go along with it. Check this out.
“I would pray those that quiet themselves with that, that they proceed on a principle of prudence, and are waiting to see what the issue of things will be, and what fruits those that are the subjects of this work will bring forth in their lives and conversations, would consider whether this will justify a long refraining from acknowledging Christ when he appears so wonderfully and graciously present in the land. ‘Tis probable that many of those that are thus waiting, know not what they are waiting for: if they wait to see a work of God without difficulties and stumbling blocks, that will be like the fool’s waiting at the riverside to have the water all run by. A work of God without stumbling blocks is never to be expected: “It must needs be that offenses come”. There never yet was any great manifestation that God made of himself to the world, without many difficulties attending it. It is with the works of God as ’tis with the Word of God; they are full of those things that seem strange and inconsistent and difficult to the carnal things that seem strange and inconsistent and difficult to the carnal unbelieving hearts of men. Christ and his work always was, and always will be a stone of stumbling, and rock of offense; a gin and a snare to many.”
That was a very funny statement, I never want to be “the fool” waiting at the riverside for all of the water to pass by. The outpouring of the Spirit can have some messy side effects. How do we judge if something is real? There are several sure indications of the reality of a move of the Spirit. First, does it violate scripture or the Spirit of the word of God. Secondly, have similar things happened throughout history. Finally, what is the effect on the participants? If God is being glorified and people are being changed to be more like Christ it is a pretty good indication. If you are watching the water pass by it might be time for you to jump in.